The lesson planning sessions have been intensifying every day, but something was different this morning. That afternoon was to be our final class before the jungle trek, and we spent breakfast spitting out ideas for how to bring some closure to our students. While doing so meant attempting to avoid the same action with our food, it turned out to be quite productive; after washing our dishes, we spent the next four hours planning, rehearsing, and mastering the art of cutting construction paper. It’s a good thing, too; it was hotter today than most since our time here, and even the dogs had settled down enough to leave our feedback workshop unperturbed.
Though the stress of bringing all the material from the past 8 days into one lesson took its toll (in the form of nervous laughter, face-palming, and manic watermelon juice consumption), our class’s reaction to today’s lessons has prompted a strange thought in our group: what if the kids are too smart for us to screw this up for them? All we can think of is how we’ve bumbled around for over a week, trying to draw animals and gesturing wildly in the hopes that we may stall them long enough with our antics to stumble across a recognizable cognate; but, every day, the children show up, say hello through their impressively well-maintained smiles, and proceed to stun us with how much they’ve remembered.
All we need to do now if figure out how to get ten highly intelligent wee ones across an ant-infested jungle floor using only English. But we have tomorrow to figure that out.
12 students from Marlboro College came to our school to teach English to local children and young adults. Their project is to teach "Environmental English" so that at the end of the 8 day course the students can take a hike and talk about nature (in English) and do activities on the trail that help them develop their awareness of tropical river ecology. Our town, San Isidro de Peñas Blancas has created the River walk to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting our area.